Upper Darby, PA – Nine years later, the Philadelphia Greek Basketball League is the pride of the Greek community. It brings together adult Greek men from across the Delaware Valley twice a week to compete and share their culture. Last night, four members of the league were inducted into the PGBL “Hall of Fame” and several players were recognized and given awards for their performances.
The evening kicked off with Co-commissioner John Vasiliou and Bill Zonios summarizing this year and the history of the league. “Zonios opened with a joke about having never won a championship, but is still out to get one. Vasiliou then turned over the microphone to Philip Voutsakis from the Greek-American Heritage Society of Philadelphia, one of the evening’s sponsors.
Voutsakis spoke about GAHSP history and the importance of the league as part of the Greek-American community. He added, that PGBL will be included in the archives of the Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia. Co-Commissioner John Vasiliou also spoke about the partnership and announced that a 10 year film is currently being produced about the league and will be part of the Greek-American Heritage Society of Philadelphia archives. The film will be featured next year at the annual banquet celebrating it’s ten year anniversary.
Each year the PGBL, inducts 2 to 5 individuals that have been instrumental in the league’s history. Honorable, Judge Harry J. Karapalides introduced the three players and one referee this year. Louie Karapanagiotides, Kosta Nikolos, George Vlahos and Referee Ed Owsik were inducted and awarded plaques. They each took turns speaking about the organization and how much they appreciate being part of this very unique basketball league.
Awards were also given to stand out performances and to the championship team. The Wolfpack were recognized for winning the league championship this year. Spiro Karalis was given the award “Defensive Player of the Year”and Pete Kathopoulis was awarded “Scoring Leader of the Year”. The “Award of Courage” was given to Little Lampros, who was from Cyprus but is currently in Philadelphia where he is receiving special care at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. A donation and plaque went to his family. The final two awards “Finals MVP” and “Regular Season MVP” went to George Vlahos. Vlahos had been instrumental in the history of the league and as a member of the Wolfpacks championship.
Special guest Evan Ostrosky, account executive of the Philadelphia 76ers announced Greek Heritage Night was coming up and invited everyone to attend. “Last year, the Greek-American community broke the record for largest ever attended culture night with over 1000 people in attendance”, said Ostrosky. “We hope to see you all out there this year”, he added.
For more information about the Greek Heritage Night With the Sixers contact John Vasiliou at John@astrafoods.com, Evan Ostrosky at Evanostrosky@sixers.com or 215-588-2759, or see the Greek Heritage Night With the Sixers Facebook event.